Chicago Cubs LHP Travis Wood

Cubs’ LHP Wood an Unlikely All-Star

Posted on 16. Jul, 2013 by in MLB

The MLB All-Star Game is tonight at Citi Field in New York City, as many of the sport’s biggest stars take the field in a battle to decide home field advantage in the World Series. Fans with Cubs tickets will be on the lookout for pitcher Travis Wood, who will represent the squad for the National League.

The 26-year-old lefty is one of this year’s most surprising All-Stars, and few could have predicted he would be in this position at the start of the season. Wood has been one of the best starting pitchers in the majors, with an impressive 2.79 ERA, 86 strikeouts and a 1.04 WHIP. Though he is only 6-6 on the year, his poor record is more of a reflection of the Cubs’ inability to score when he is on the mound. Though he doesn’t have a huge fastball, he locates his pitches extremely well, and has a good mix of four pitches to work with. Wood has also been surprisingly potent with the bat for the Cubs, with a .250 batting average and two home runs, far better numbers than most would expect from a pitcher.

With Wood in the All-Star Game, the move to acquire him before the 2012 season continues to look better in retrospect. Wood came up through the Reds organization and pitched in Cincinnati for two seasons, but after a pair of subpar seasons with the ballclub, the Reds ultimately decided to trade him to the Cubs for reliever Sean Marshall. While Marshall is an effective reliever, he has not provided the value that Wood has given the Cubs. It is extremely difficult to find quality starting pitchers, and Chicago certainly seems to have found a good one in Wood. With Jeff Samardzija also showing off impressive strikeout potential, the Cubs have a strong one-two punch in the starting rotation going forward.

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